While I was drawing this nothing much happened until I was finished, when I got into a conversation with a person who came out of the house next door.
‘His name’s Ron,’ the woman had said when I asked who it was who lived in the house, ‘and he’s the best. He walks with a cane but he still insists on taking out our trash cans.’
‘Nice,’ I say.
‘Yeh,’ she said, smiling ‘he’s been married to the same woman for like 50 years.’
‘Woah,’ I said, ‘good effort.’
‘He told me that on their first date he bought her flowers,’ she told me, ‘but she told him she hadn’t asked for them and threw them into the back seat of his car.’
While I was drawing this a woman pulled slowly up to the curb and parked in front of the house.
I put my pastel down and hoped she would look over at me so I could ask her to move on.
But she didn’t.
Instead she opened the back door and took out a small white folding chair, and then walked into the house next door.
I sat there for a while, slightly annoyed, but then went back to work, drawing from memory what was behind the woman’s car.
While I was drawing this a woman and a man, dressed in sports clothing, sunglasses and baseball caps, stopped in front of me.
‘Wow, that’s really…’, the man said, before I cut him off, pointing to my headphones waving my hand, and mouthing ‘I’m on the phone’.
‘Oh, okay.’ said the man as he and the woman both smiled and continued on their way and I went back to my phone where I was simultaneously talking to my friend Barb over in the Valley, and arguing with my girlfriend about dental floss via text.
While I drew this nothing much happened.
A postman delivering mail said hello.
A man collecting his mail from the mailbox said hello.
A woman and a man passed by with a stroller and the man, who was wearing sunglasses, smiled and said hello.
And then later a man went up the red steps and spoke to a woman who came to the door holding a baby.
While I was drawing this I heard a noise (through my earbuds, over the sound of the podcast I was listening to) and turned to see a man with an unhappy look on his face standing on the grass of the house just behind me.
‘Sorry?’ I said, removing my earbuds, ‘What was that?’
‘What is it you’re doing there?’ he called out.
‘I’m drawing.’ I called back to him.’
What are you drawing?’ he asked, walking toward me.
‘I’m drawing that house across the street,’ I said, ‘that one there, the pink one.’
‘Oh okay, well…’ he said.
‘I know it can look suspicious, someone sitting in the street like this.’
‘Yes,’ he said, ‘it sure does look suspicious.
The man said nothing else, just turned and walked across the grass toward his house.
I watched him walk away.
While I was drawing this Amy brought her colleague, Molly, out to meet me and after some discussion about my drawing being beautiful, Molly told me her husband was also an artist.
’Oh,’ I said, ‘what does he do?’
‘Mainly portraits.’ she told me, and then I asked her how big they were and she held her arms up to show me.
‘Does he have Instagram, where can I see them?’ I asked her picking my phone up.
‘He’s called ‘grapeslaroc.’ she said and we all went quiet while I searched for him on Instagram.
‘Is this him?’ I said, finding a guy called S Josh Elkin.
‘Yep,’ said Molly, ‘but he has 2 accounts and that looks like his DJ account.’
‘Yeh,’ I said scrolling through the images of his on my phone, ‘but here are some portraits of Bob Dylan and Snoop, and Beyonce’s husband, what’s his name?’
‘Yep,’ she said, ‘that’s him.’
‘Nice,’ I said, ‘I like the colours in the Dylan. Oh, and there’s Bob Marley too.’
For a few moments Molly and Amy leaned in from behind and looked at my phone until I said, ‘Okay, I’m getting cold and I’m almost finished so I’m coming in’.
‘That’s a beautiful drawing,’ said Molly about the house I was drawing, which was really a guest house in the backyard of Amy’s neighbours, ‘have you nearly finished?’
‘Thanks,’ I said ‘almost, but I’ll start to lose the light shortly, and like I said, I’m cold so I’m coming in now.’
While I was drawing this a woman passed along on the footpath behind me walking a small, white, curly-haired yapping dog on a leash.
A man came out of the house next door to the one I was drawing and after putting a painting in the boot of a car, turned to me and waved and I waved back.
3 children of various ages, from around 7 to 15, passed by in front of the house, all three of them staring at me.
And that was all that happened while I was drawing this.
While I was drawing this I had Elliot tied to my foot by his leash, and he laid quietly on the road in the sun, not making a noise or fuss, which was lucky for him because I wasn’t in the mood for any of his puppy antics this afternoon.
While I was drawing this a man approached me walking 2 dogs on a leash: one looking like a poodle, the other like a terrier.
As they got closer, Elliot, who was tied to my leg by his leash, let out a half-arsed little growl and I told him to stop it.
‘Ooh,’ said the man halting his stroll and maneuvering himself behind me, ‘that’s lovely.’
‘Thank you.’ I said, pretty sure he was talking about the drawing and not the startling shade of yellow my hair was from the inept bleaching I’d recently given it.
‘You’ve got the light right.’ he said, and I said thank you again.
Elliot was letting out a few more growls so I looked down to chastise him and at the same time I saw that the man’s terrier, whose face was very close to Elliot’s, had something wrong with its eye.
It was swollen, like a marble, and even though I was very curious as to what was going on with the dog, I didn’t want to engage the man in conversation.
So I didn’t bring it up, I went back to my drawing.
‘Are they soft pastels?’ the man asked me.
”Yes.’ I said.
‘My aunt used pastels,’ he said, ‘she was an artist.’
‘Uh-huh.’ I said.
‘I love these old style of houses,’ he said, ‘my favourite one is up the street there.’
‘Uh-huh.’ I said, thinking about what colour I was going to use for the front door.
The man, who was wearing a red baseball cap and shorts and a white polo shirt continued.
‘It’s blue, has a porch all the way around it,’ he went on, ‘you should have a look at it.’
‘I might go when I finish here.’ I said.
‘Oh, okay then,’ he said, ‘I see.’
Then he stood there for a few moments later until he said to his animals- ‘Okay, good luck, come on boys, let’s go.’
And off he went.
While I was drawing this nothing much happened. A tourist trolley passed by. A girl with blond curls passed with a woman I presumed to be her mother. A boy sat on a bench eating a sandwich. And Miss Catherine lay on her side on a park bench in dappled light falling through the leaves of a moss-draped oak.